East Clear Creek - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-01-2013   #1
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 514
East Clear Creek

Had a chance to get into East Clear Creek out of Winslow AZ last week.

There's not a ton of beta out there, so I thought I'd drop a few tidbits out there for folks looking to go in the future...

We had ~100cfs spilling from Craggin. But we didn't have a ton of flow coming in from other tribs. I'd guess we had ~150 cfs at Mack's Crossing and took out on ~300 cfs. I'd recommend looking at Chevelon's peak melt for optimal timing of this run.

At this flow, there were many many boulder sieve portages. I'd guesstimate we portaged ~12 times, mostly for rapids that would go with more flow. But there are 2-3 major sieve rapids and a couple come up fast and blind. Some beta out there calls this a II-III run, which I think is pretty severely sandbagged.

I'd rate the run overall at a IV, because of the remote location, and the wood hazards, and the creeky eddy hopping/portage skills needed. There is a lot of II though for sure.

The big log jam 24 miles below Mack's is still there. But there are no logjams between Chasm Falls and Clear Creek Reservoir. Overall the run is in good shape, except all the trees that need to be flooded out of the river bed.

Some pix:

Upper Canyon character near Mack's Crossing

The big wood portage at mile 24

Lots of huge boulders and blind corners.

Early morning light in a deep canyon

Typical rapids. Technical tight IV, in need of more flow....

Amazing petroglyph panels, often right at river's edge

Camp 3 on a lovely bend. The canyon really never opens up at all.

Low water necessitated some creative portaging.

Lots of interesting features. Get in there early while the tribs are still adding flow!

Arriving at takeout to a lovely twilight evening.

At some point, I'll get some more up on my blog, but wanted to get a little beta out for others where it'll get found.


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Old 04-01-2013   #2
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,235
Nice write-up.
On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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